Ukraine at UNGA: Crimea occupation turns northeast part of Black Sea into "grey area"
Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko says that the northeastern part of the Black Sea has turned into a "grey area" due to Russia-occupied Crimea.
"In view of the occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine's rights as a coastal state in the maritime zones adjacent to Crimea in the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait have been interfered and usurped by the aggressor state. Ukraine is unable to carry out its international obligations under the respective treaties and conventional instruments in the maritime areas appertaining to the Crimean Peninsula, including the provision of safety and security of navigation, regulation of maritime traffic, protection of the marine environment, search and rescue. As a result, the northeastern part of the Black Sea has literally turned into a 'grey area' for international shipping that is being proved by the number of marine casualties and incidents," he said at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) plenary meeting on December 7 on the law of the see and sustainable fisheries.
He also said that at a recent session of the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization the document titled "Safety and security of navigation in the northeastern part of the Black Sea," submitted by Ukraine and Georgia, was considered. It was agreed to begin monitoring the situation with the security and safety of navigation in that part of the Black Sea, he added.
Moreover, Yelchenko said, in September 2016, Ukraine officially served the Russian Federation with a notification of arbitration and statement of claim instituting ad hoc arbitral proceedings under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to vindicate its rights as the coastal state in maritime zones adjacent to Crimea in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait.
In his words, Ukraine urges coastal States, flag States and industry to make everything possible to ensure safety and security of maritime shipping, especially in the high risk regions.
"Ukraine stands ready to further cooperate with the UN Member States, IMO [International Maritime Organization] and other relevant actors with the view to achieving aforementioned goal in accordance with existing international obligations," he said.
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